NPG introduces a CC license for genome research

December 6th, 2007 by Kaitlin Thaney

In a move to make genome research more accessible, Nature Publishing Group (NPG) has introduced a new editorial policy that will put genome research published by Nature under a CC-BY-NC-SA license. The license grants readers the ability to share and remix the material under the following conditions: the work must be attributed to the author as specified by the author of licensor, cannot be used for commercial purposes, and that any derivative works be licensed under the same or a similar license. NPG’s editorial policy can be read in full here.

An editorial posted today discusses some of the reasoning behind enacting this new author license policy.

From the Nature editorial, “Shared genomes” (December 6, 2007):

“In the continuing drive to make papers as accessible as possible, NPG is now introducing a ‘creative commons’ licence for the reuse of such genome papers. The licence allows non-commercial publishers, however they might be defined, to reuse the pdf and html versions of the paper. In particular, users are free to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt the contribution, provided this is for non-commercial purposes, subject to the same or similar licence conditions and due attribution.

In 1996, as human genome sequencing was getting under way, leading players stated: “It was agreed that all human genomic sequence information, generated by centres funded for large-scale human sequencing, should be freely available and in the public domain in order to encourage research and development and to maximise its benefit to society” (see [the Bermuda principles]). These principles have continued to guide the field, and NPG has consistently made genome papers freely available in keeping with them. This new licence allows us to formalize the arrangement.”

This is definitely a step in the right direction for Open Access, and we always cheer use of CC licenses, although I wish they’d chosen the Attribution license. The Non-Commercial and ShareAlike provisions of CC-BY-NC-SA seem to be in conflict with some of the terms in the Budapest Declaration. But anything that gets us closer to OA and supports the open licensing of foundational research papers is good medicine, indeed.

2 Responses

  1. » “Do you hear that, Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability” » business|bytes|genes|molecules, on December 6th, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    […] A post by Kaitlin Thaney on the Science Commons blog confirms that Nature chose a cc-by-nc-sa license and suggests that […]

  2. Graham Steel, on December 9th, 2007 at 11:31 am

    Absolutely a (big) step in the right direction for OA.

    Well done NPG and CC !!